MKV is an open video format that supports multiple audio and subtitle streams in one file. When you play a multi-track MKV, you may have to manually select the audio or subtitle if the default one is not in your preferred language. This post can help you change the default audio and subtitle in an MKV file, so you don’t need to choose tracks each time. Additionally, it provides an easy way to remove unwanted tracks from MKV permanently.
Michelle | Jul 29, 2022

How to Change the Default Audio/Subtitle in MKV?

We found an easy method to change the default audio/subtitle track for MKV using Jmkvpropedit, a GUI based on the open-source mkvpropedit (part of MKVToolNix). It allows MKV metadata editing without remux, and it can set a different language track as default in seconds. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you change default audio and subtitle in MKV in Jmkvpropedit.

Important: The change is made on the source, so make a copy of your original file before you follow the steps below.


Step 1. Download and extract Jmkvpropedit .zip file to your C drive. Jmkvpropedit releases at: https://github.com/BrunoReX/jmkvpropedit/releases.

Note: Be sure to enable "JavaSoft (Oracle) registry keys" if you install Java on Windows from adoptium.net or similar.

Step 2. Run JMkvpropedit.exe and drag your MKV file into the “Input” interface.

Step 3. Go to the “Audio” tab and next to Audio Track 1, click the plus button to add as many audio tracks as there are in your MKV video. Then, choose the track that you want to set as default and check “Edit this track” > tick “Default track” > keep it as “Yes”. For the rest tracks, select them one by one > Edit this track > Default track > change Yes to No.

Step 4. Go to the “Subtitle” tab and repeat the previous step to change the default subtitle if you need.

Step 5. Open “Options.” Click “Browse” and choose the JMkvpropedit.exe as the executable file.

Step 6. Click “Process files” at the bottom to finish the editing. Now the default audio/subtitle track is changed.

Tips. In the last “Output” tab, you can see the command lines generated.


How to Remove Unnecessary Tracks from MKV?

Removing unwanted audio and subtitles from MKV can also help you play MKV in the desired language track and reduce the bloated file size at the same time. We can use a free video converter program Free HD Video Converter Factory to easily delete tracks from MKV and MP4. Moreover, this converter can add subtitles and audio tracks to MKV, too. Follow the instructions below to remove audio or subtitle tracks from MKV now.

Step 1. Install Install and open Free HD Video Converter Factory on your PC.

Step 2. Click “Converter” to open the converter program.

Step 3. Drag your MKV file into the converter and on the right side of the program, choose an output video format.

Step 4. Under the video task, click the subtitle and/or audio drop-down lists and select the track you want to keep.

Tips. For editing subtitle tracks, you can save the subtitle as hardcoded or CC.

Step 5. Click “Run” to export video the with desired tracks.

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